April 5, 2012 § Leave a comment
While working at the United Nations, I’ve grown accustomed to celebrating diverse (and sometimes odd) international days and commemorations (Happy World Day for Laboratory Animals!). But when I was alerted that April was National Garden Month here in the US, I was all too eager to jump on board and celebrate one of my favorite Midwest gardening organizations — St. Louis’s Gateway Greening.
In some ways, Gateway Greening is not so radically different from the region’s other urban garden groups. Their programs include collaborating with City Seeds Urban Farm (alongside a number of other community and gardening organizations, as well as the Missouri Department of Transportation). City Seeds resembles other well-known Midwest gardening projects, but also features job-training programs (a smaller scale version Chicago’s Growing Home).
Going a Plot Beyond
Perhaps my favorite part about Gateway Greening is their community garden network and directory. In addition to facilitating the City Seeds farm at Market and 22nd St., as well as many other projects, Gateway Greening also operates as a support system for communities, schools and organizations who are interested in starting and sustaining their own gardens. The map below gives a sense of the sheer size of this budding network.
While planting your own garden may seem daunting, Gateway Greening has charged themselves with helping St. Louisans get started, offering a huge collection of online resources and community contacts to help aspiring green thumbs find plant their roots. Their support, Gateway Greening says, covers “over 200 community, school and youth gardens”, and also assists in the facilitation of “hub gardens” which cater to nearby gardens and gardeners by hosting workshops, loaning out tools, and offering advice from fellow sprout enthusiasts.
Emily Thenhaus, St. Louis Organizer